A cosmetic dentist can help with a number of dental concerns. Your cosmetic dentist can use dental crowns to save damaged teeth and preserve your smile. In fact, a dental crown is a great alternative to losing the tooth all together.
Teeth can become damaged through injury or decay. A dental crown can save the tooth and tooth root. We use crowns frequently at the Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Bethesda, Maryland. We take pride in saving a tooth while maintaining the beautiful smiles of our patients.
Your cosmetic dentist may recommend a dental crown for a number of reasons. If your tooth has been weakened due to decay or injury then a dental crown may be able to save it. A crown is essentially a cap that has been designed to be the shape of your tooth before it was damaged. It fits over the damaged tooth in order to restore its original shape, size, and strength. A crown also helps improve the overall appearance of the tooth. When your cosmetic dentist cements it into place then it covers the damaged tooth completely above your gum line.
A dental crown is a great treatment option for weak teeth. It can prevent the weakened tooth from breaking. It can also hold a cracked tooth together. Crowns are a great option for teeth that have been drastically worn down over time due to decay or other reasons. Some people also use crowns when their teeth are an unusual shape or if they’ve become discolored.
Your cosmetic dentist may also be able to help you with dental crowns for your children. Baby teeth can easily become damaged by decay. If the small tooth has significant decay and isn’t able to support a filling then a crown could save the remainder of the tooth. A crown can also protect other teeth that are at a higher risk of decay.
Your family or cosmetic dentist can help you decide which type of crown will be best for your situation. Permanent crowns can be made from a number of materials. Most pediatric crowns are stainless steel. For adult or permanent teeth there are more options available to help the crown blend with your natural teeth. Permanent crowns are usually made from stainless steel, alloy metals, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic.
For adults, a stainless steel crown is usually temporary and only used while the permanent crown is being crafted. Stainless steel crowns are commonly used on the baby teeth of children because they are more cost efficient. Other metal crowns include alloy options such as gold alloy. These types of crowns require less of the tooth to be shaved away to ensure a proper fit. These metal crowns have the longest lifespan when it comes to wear and tear. They also are stronger and less likely to chip or break. However, many people overlook these benefits because a metal crown doesn’t blend as nicely with the surrounding teeth as other options.
Depending on the location of the tooth that needs the crown, your family or cosmetic dentist may suggest a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. Unlike other metal crowns, the porcelain allows the crown to be color matched to neighboring teeth. The downfall, however, is that these types of crowns can wear down opposing teeth much more than a regular metal crown would. It’s also possible for the porcelain coating to chip or break. Also, while these types of crowns generally look like natural teeth it is possible for the underlying metal to be visible at your gum line.
If one of the common types of crowns above won’t work for you, then your family or cosmetic dentist may recommend one of these other options. All-resin crowns are more affordable than other crown types, but they are very susceptible to fractures and they wear down more quickly. Both all-ceramic and all-porcelain crowns look the most like your natural teeth due to their ability to be customized. This option is popular for patients who suffer from allergies to various metals. However, they too are not as strong as other options.
Acrylic crowns are another option. They are typically used only as temporary crowns while your permanent crown is being crafted in a lab. If your cosmetic dentist has the ability to create a permanent crown in their office then it’s likely to be a zirconia crown. This saves a second trip to the dentist by creating the crown in the office for immediate application.
Depending on the type of crown that you and your family or cosmetic dentist decides on, it could last a varying amount of time. The lifespan of a dental crown is between 5 and 15 years. The life of the crown depends on your oral hygiene habits and the type of material it is crafted from. However, if you grind your teeth or regularly chew on ice or other hard objects, you could shorten the lifespan of your crown significantly.
Speak with your family or cosmetic dentist about which dental crown option might be best for you. Many people opt for the stronger, less attractive crowns for molars while using the weaker but less noticeable crowns on their front teeth. Think about what features you need most from your dental crown and focus options that meet your needs. It’s also a good idea to speak with your insurance company to ask about differences in coverage between available options.